The Hindu

Exorcising 1984

1, 13-Apr-2009, Page : 008

Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar might want to attribute their current miseries to a shoe hurled by an attention-seeking Sikh journalist. But the protests by large sections of the Sikh community against the allotment of Lok Sabha tickets to the two Congress leaders have their genesis in an atrocious official cover-up that reflects very poorly on the Indian criminal justice system. A sloppy and non-serious process of investigation and prosecution meant that the perpetrators of the genocidal violence against thousands of innocent Sikhs in the wake of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's assassination, on October 31, 1984, by her Sikh bodyguards have gone scot-free. The killing spree by Congress activists and supporters, allegedly orchestrated and led by some party leaders, left 2,733 people dead in Delhi alone. But after two Commissions of Inquiry and eight committees set up to probe various aspects of the horrific violence, and prolonged trials, only 13 persons have been convicted (and one declared a proclaimed offender). As during Gujarat's genocidal anti-Muslim pogrom of 2002, there were clear indications of complicity by the police and the official machinery in the terror unleashed. The Congress as a party has also found it difficult to live down Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's notorious rationalisation of what happened: "there are always tremors when a great tree falls." The Indian experience is that law enforcers and investigating agencies almost invariably incline towards the ruling establishment. This meant that with a Congress government in power for 10 of the next 12 years, the victims of 1984 never got within smelling distance of justice. Actually, several of the committees indicted Congress leader H.K.L. Bhagat and Messrs Tytler and Sajjan Kumar for their alleged roles in the 1984 massacre. The Nanavati Commission concluded that there was "credible evidence" against Mr. Tytler and that "very probably" he had a hand in organising the attacks. However, in its Action Taken Report, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government took the stand that a person could not be prosecuted merely on the basis of "probability." Quite predictably, the Central Bureau of Investigation - India's premier but patently non-independent criminal investigation agency - has concluded that it did not have sufficient evidence to prosecute Mr. Tytler. But after the controversy erupted, the CBI, which did not raise any jurisdictional issues when it filed a charge sheet in 2006 and a closure report in 2007, suddenly challenged the Metropolitan Magistrate's power to hear the case. Such clumsy efforts to help the ruling party wriggle out of messy situations have further eroded the agency's credibility. By dumping Messrs Tytler and Sajjan Kumar, the Congress has done some damage control but what it needs to realise is that the ghosts of 1984 cannot be exorcised unless the victims get full justice.

The Hindu
Codifying social obligations

1, 13-Apr-2009, Page : 008

The United Nations initiative to evaluate national corporate laws and practices in terms of their consistency with human rights norms follows in a long series of steps to ensure transparency and accountability of multi-national corporations. This is critical to achieving equitable growth in today's globalised world where competition to attract capital inflows among developing countries exerts a downward pressure on corporate governance standards. The duties of directors, standards of reporting, and shareholder engagement in 40 jurisdictions - in advanced industrial countries and emerging economies such as India and China - would be evaluated under a move led by the U.N. Secretary General's Special Representative on business and human rights, John Ruggie. The extent to which the courts reflect environmental and human rights concerns, as well as access to remedies for the victims of abuses, would also be assessed by 15 cross-regional corporate law firms.

has come under intense scrutiny among others by the International Commission of Jurists. The European Union is considering ambitious proposals to guarantee legal remedies for the victims of violations by E. confronted with the reactions. It was then examined by the chief of the graphics department of the paper and also by an outside expert. Whatever the perpetrator intended. and apologised profusely.) This was the second time I had to deal with such an issue. this was no gag. It was planned. peopled by just two mynas in sync. So when a picture appeared on Page 2 of the Chennai City edition on April 1. But The Hindu is not known for levity or frivolity. But the United Kingdom's 2006 Companies Act is by far the most audacious attempt to give a statutory basis to the corporates' obligations to promote sustainable development. It could have been passed off as an All Fools' Day's joke.U. environmental. The current momentum to accord formal recognition to normative standards is but a logical next step. 2009. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai recently. Venturesome. The photographer finally confessed it was a 2008 picture that had been doctored.-based enterprises and their global subsidiaries." "I deeply regret the paper has gone down on ethics. Their finding: it was a manipulated picture. the Madurai edition carried the picture of a pigeon with its image reflected in a pool of rainwater. Compact that brings together over 5. suppliers. (The caption said it was a "recent" photo. Corporations in the 30 constituent countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development are also governed by a non-enforceable code of conduct.000 companies in pursuit of the same objectives." "It is a shoddy job and we are aghast. Crudely finished cut-out or selection marks were seen around the edges of one bird. was that photo editing software had been used to mirror and flip the image and create a pair of birds where there had been only one. and the environment insofar as failure on these fronts can entail financial risks. the community." So went the comments. damage was done to a venerable institution. particularly in Africa.N. Their conclusion. One reader made the charge that it was a manipulated image as the reflection was sharp with no shaky lines. (The picture is reproduced here for those who see the other editions of the paper). deliberate dishonesty by a senior staff photographer. Underlying all these is a wider recognition that the ethical." "Even a novice can spot this and TheHindu readers are not gullible.A. While recognising the primary duty of directors to advance the interests of companies. and social imperatives of entrepreneurship are not incompatible with the creation of value in the long-term. . spotted at M.The complicity of firms in violations of rights by governments in the world's conflict zones. The Editor-in-Chief had to apologise. vainglorious'Dual' loneliness "Dual" loneliness SHARING SOLITUDE: It's a solitary world of shrill calls causing ripples across silence. customers. Unfortunately. not to mention the 2000 U. the law requires them to consider issues relating to employees. In December 2006. first maintained that what he submitted was an original picture. the readers who reacted to it sounded indignant . after studying a 200 times enlargement of the picture. Only one reader mentioned April Fool's Day. That it was pulled off also revealed a weakness in the system. The photographer."We did not expect this from a standard newspaper like The Hindu. Or for pulling readers' legs.

Page : 009 Molly Belmont Worried about your job? Stressed about meeting new people? Maybe you're feeling anxious about your finances or health? Has it gotten so bad that it's interfering with your sleep? Are you avoiding situations that make you uncomfortable? Everyone experiences stress in their day-to-day lives. and in fact. More pervasive worry Sometimes day-to-day stress and anxiety are hard to tell apart.co. by his action. spotted at M. that often attaches itself to specific areas of your life. for their quality is known. This is the job of the Photo Editor who judges their quality. says psychologist Terry Mooney. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai recently. but more than 30 million Americans suffer from something more intense than that. 13-Apr-2009. it can . It is always rush hour in a newspaper and that can be no excuse for letting your guard down. A gambling spirit? Vaulting ambition? Overconfidence? I keep wondering as I see them fall. whereas anxiety is a more pervasive worry.A. And a selection has to be made. The photographer. readerseditor@thehindu. This anxiety does not dissipate. That he could get his "creation" into the paper revealed a weakness in the system. miss it in the original? He told me the picture came during the rush hour. whoever be its author. how did a veteran photographer. A very large number of pictures comes into the system every day. his otherwise excellent service record of 24 years mitigating the severity of the action taken. and then dissipates. When so many readers could spot the fake (from the reproduction in newsprint).in SHARING SOLITUDE: It's a solitary world of shrill calls causing ripples across silence. has left a permanent scar. In this case there was no urgency either. technically highly qualified. job or health. Anxiety disorders are the second-most-common mental health problem in the country.A detailed study showed there was no tampering at all. The news desk comes in after a first list has been made. I concluded my column then (December 18. This is not my first experience of a journalist with a creditable record venturing to do something foolish and getting caught. from a senior photographer. What drives them to this? It cannot be for recognition. The Hindu The blurred line between stress and anxiety 1. like your relationship. peopled by just two mynas in sync. Inquisitiveness and a questioning mind are essential traits for a journalist when handling any input. 2006) with the Photo Editor's comment that The Hindu did not indulge in such practices. I cannot say that again even though the paper itself is not at fault but was let down. but the easiest way to distinguish them is that stress is brought on by actual events. He has been punished. and they can be paralysing.

Mooney says. Page : 009 An open challenge to those who speak of development as an inclusive process. . and cope with it. This approach involves retraining yourself to deal with anxiety: "Control your behaviour and your feelings will follow. Forsyth said. helping you recognise danger. acceptance and commitment therapy. is also considered an anxiety disorder. and he is running clinical trials based on a new treatment. But if you begin to see danger lurking around every corner. or ACT. like an anxiety disorder. Patnaik remains firmly wedded to one of the most predatory forms of extractive capitalism anywhere in India. counting or endlessly reviewing conversations in their mind. Often repetitive in nature. checking and rechecking something. It's this curtailing of activities that causes the suffering. he said. People with social anxiety disorder experience intense worry over social interactions. The Mindfulness & Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety.© 2009 The New York Times News Service The Hindu In Kalahandi. and often feel judged by people or worry that they will embarrass themselves. Cognitive behavioural therapy has been found to be as effective as medication. They may stop travelling or even avoid leaving the house. says Mooney. which is characterised by people reliving a frightening event over and over again. Exercise has also been proven very effective for helping people ward off excess anxiety. For even as the Left has made the anti-people neo-liberal policies of the Manmohan Singh government at the Centre the target of its nationwide campaign. That's when it's characterised as an anxiety disorder. Treatment is available for anxiety disorders. People can use a variety of approaches. This is a form of cognitive behavioural therapy that teaches people to separate the disorder from how they think about themselves. Mooney said. or stop going to parties. making you feel that "life is shrinking around you. People with anxiety disorders often begin to avoid activities or circumstances that make them anxious. medication and exercise. he said." Anxiety disorders come in a variety of forms and manifest themselves in different ways. 13-Apr-2009. .increase to the level where it begins to change your behaviour. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is when people take on obsessive rituals that help them maintain the illusion of control. Generalised anxiety disorder is characterised by ongoing worry about everyday tasks. People may stop driving. said John Forsyth. battle for livelihood trumps war for votes 1. then you might be dealing with something more substantial.'' he says. Anxiety can keep you safe. Forsyth is the author of a new workbook. Siddharth Varadarajan Of all the disconnects between the economic 'base' and political 'superstructure' of Indian electoral alliances. or worry over and over again about the same events. none is more glaring than the tie-up between the Biju Janata Dal of Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and the Left-inspired Third Front. Post-traumatic stress disorder. even when there's no clear reason to worry. associate professor of psychology at the State University of New York at Albany and director of the Anxiety Disorders Research Programme at the university. obsessive compulsive rituals can include cleaning. including therapy. Mr.

who say the mining project will completely destroy their lives. dividing its victims and hope-filled beneficiaries. the ward seemed unused. Despite the court-mandated Centrally Empowered Commission coming out against the Niyamgiri project on environmental grounds. another resident physician. told The Hindu. forest products. mostly out of fatigue towards having the same MP representing them since 1998. Patnaik and the BJD. local residents openly express their preference for the 'haath' of the Congress.food. On one side is the political clout and financial muscle of a powerful business house . "I would say Vedanta has made no contribution here. the fight. held . And in village after village. tribe and even class lines. seems to favour Congress. and villages elsewhere. urban residents spoke highly of Mr. water. Dr. Ray. a Kondha. "Niyamgiri belongs to Niyam raja. In Chhatarpur and Bandiguda right next to the refinery. the hill gives all of us everything we need . The election is essentially a three-cornered fight between the sitting BJP MP. opinion is divided on the bauxite project but most people this reporter spoke to said they expected the region to benefit in the long run. Govind Majhi. a claim belied by the absence of employment for locals and mounting environment-related problems the refinery itself has generated. "From afar. an Ayurvedic doctor and activist said. When this correspondent visited it. In the district headquarters of Bhawanipatna." Even before the mining has started . everything seems OK. Vedanta . this reporter saw residents with skin ailments and heard of an increase in TB." These sentiments appear to be shared by virtually everyone cutting across caste. a 15-year-old boy in Bandiguda. But for the Assembly. the SC gave the green signal last year.a process the locals say will lead to water streams from the hill getting choked ." Bhima Majhi of Turiguda. Once it is gone.which established a massive aluminum refinery here in 2006 and is pushing for the immediate commencement of bauxite mining in the picturesque and ecologically-fragile Niyamgiri hills which ring this small town. Vedanta claims that its project will bring benefits to the population around Lanjigarh. overturning a plea by the Dongria Kondhas who live on the hill that their livelihood and religious rights would be destroyed once mining begins. Both doctors said the refinery had led to an increase in the incidence of skin and respiratory diseases because of water and dust pollution. Nagendra Rajsamukh. Niranjan Acharya. "But only those who live here know what it is like. at least around Lanjigarh. Even in town. "We worship him up there and in our village. With both the BJD and BJP strongly defending Vedanta. As part of its contribution to local welfare. "Niyamgiri is our life". Bikram Keshari Deo. But Kalahandi is a large constituency. will likely determine the direction India takes." said Dr. we will have nothing". the company built a 20bed ward for the local government hospital. Das has been vocal in his opposition to Vedanta and his supporters have actively taken part in the struggles of the villagers and were also involved in a major case against the mining project in the Supreme Court. thousands of local tribals and nontribals. all the promises and pitfalls of this model are on open display. Lanjigarh is today frontier country and what happens here tomorrow. And because of him. Debashish Ray said Vedanta had built the ward but neither it nor the government had provided any extra staff or facilities like quarters. It is not just the Dongrias who say the hill is sacred." said Dr. Mr.the large red mud pond Vedanta has built near its plant has already cut off water to dozens of acres of farm land. Congress stalwart and former MP Bhakta Charan Das and Subhas Chandra Nayak of the BJD. Local traders said sales had increased since the refinery was set up but also said the endless stream of trucks running into and out of Lanjigarh had ruined the local highway. suborning the institutions of the state and throwing an open challenge to those who speak of development as an inclusive process. many seemed inclined to vote for Bhakta Charan Das in spite of his opposition to Vedanta.the Indian-owned MNC. though.Three-cornered fight Here in Kalahandi. after the elections and beyond. And on the other. But the polls mask a more bitter and fundamental contest.

and that seems likely ." said Doisingh Majhi of Bellamba. "The hills belong to the adivasis and we are not going to let go. convenient to carry and quick to produce images that can be spread throughout cyberspace in seconds. Ian Jack The protests during the G-20 summit were a carnival of photography. "But for us. but recent events in Britain offer a different verdict. Kumti Majhi. easy to use. Digitally. When it appeared from the sideboard drawer. If they achieved nothing else . a local leader of the anti-Vedanta movement. Vedanta will even fly him by helicopter. for the first time. Film was expensive.' but they have done nothing. The social impact of this revolution has still to be fully understood. was not the property of the government and the courts had no power to hand it over to Vedanta. the police quickly move in. we were in the presence of a camera. at a very generous estimate. there is nothing. add another for the day when we were ranked by size on benches in the school playground.the old slow crafts of photography have largely vanished. fixing solutions.more ''swish'' than ''click'' . one thing photographs and video can never do is give us the full picture. Mukta Harijan. prints hung to dry . Most people over 50 can remember a time when normal life stopped for a photograph. 13-Apr-2009.electricity.Manglu Majhi. the security guards demand a gate-pass and turn them away." Villagers said that whenever they try to protest. a new American president had his official White House portrait taken by a digital camera.they showed how the camera has become startlingly ubiquitous. Today. of course: darkrooms. as ordinary a recording instrument as the ballpoint pen but infinitely more believed than any words in a notebook. "Vedanta tells people in Delhi.and each roll of film held eight or 12 frames." The Hindu Limits of photography/video 1. "Most of the work is being done by people from outside.cheap (most mobile phones have them). the Model T Ford of photography. Perhaps.were still in jail three months after being arrested for taking part in a peaceful dharna." he said. told me about how villagers last week managed to stop the construction of a conveyor belt that will be used to bring bauxite down from Niyamgiri once the mining starts." said a villager.out a blistered hand that he said was caused by bathing in a polluted nali. "If a neta's son falls ill. When our youth ask for work. locals said three villagers . certain self-conscious postures were assumed. I may have had my picture taken a couple of dozen times a year with the family camera. What we are . he said. Page : 009 Despite their power. roads clinics. The digital camera is an egalitarian piece of technology . a total of 40 images of myself set in chemicals every year. My father had an old box Brownie." Asked about the promised jobs. Hari Majhi and Dhanurjay Patra . 'we have given everything . In Bellamba. "but we will continue to resist." Niyamgiri. unchanged in its basics since the first one came out of the Kodak factory in 1901. I might be photographed 200 times in a few hours. This year. "They will try again after the elections and the police and administration will back them. just by the act of leaving the house and travelling and shopping in London. By a rough reckoning. In Kendu Bardia. in terms of CCTV cameras and the surveillance state. Hold still! The shutter speed was one 25th of a second . Add one or two for weddings. Usually its consequences have been written about rather darkly. a wisened but sprightly Dalit woman in Chhatrapur pointed to the scores of young men standing around.

if every soldier advancing at the Somme had a mobile in his hand and sent home pictures of so many broken bodies in so many shell holes. It would surely have been a shorter war. however.a video maker turned up to get both sides in the same shot. This week offered three outstanding instances of digital photography's effect on public knowledge. And even New York has right-toprivacy laws that prohibit the ''unauthorised use of a person's likeness for commercial purposes. In this way. sometimes .while the second involved complicated subterfuge. The first was accidental . The information on it quickly finds a life in cyberspace. Last Thursday (April 2).the American just happened to be there . concerns our predisposition to think of photography as the truth.K. could also be one of violent behaviour's great restraints. beginning with the video footage of a policeman knocking Ian Tomlinson to the ground and ending with a BBC team's concealed-camera investigation into how visiting care workers look after the frail and old at home in the U. The first was shot by an American fund manager. It seemed to me then that the camera. as any professional photojournalist will tell you. In 1968 in Saigon. I saw them at work. enters Downing Street with a secret paper open to view. about the different course history might have taken if the first world war had been covered by live television broadcast from a Flanders trench? Or. Scotland Yard's counterterrorism chief. the benefits of digital technology are not so clear-cut. An even bigger argument. searching and photographing demonstrators at Canning Town tube station. or that's the risk. prevent and correct more. Police were stopping. until of course his phone went quiet and all his relatives could hear was the advice to leave a message.witnessing. however pointlessly. the whole truth and nothing but the truth.Brassai and Cartier-Bresson among its famous former practitioners . it can be argued that the new cornucopia of visual information is a boon. These arguments are sure to grow because most of us in some incoherent but fundamental way believe we own the visual rights to ourselves. the demonstrators photographed the police as they took their photographs. The result in each case was shocking. In 2007. A small war of cameras. to alert possible subjects. an orthodox Jew who didn't believe in graven images. It isn't. As a consequence.has migrated to London and New York. at the demonstration outside the G20 summit in east London. of a general with a pistol shooting an . Bob Quick. and Quick resigns. devolving from writers such as Susan Sontag and Roland Barthes. discovered his picture in an exhibition and sued for $2m in 2006. so often accused of spreading violence by its fixation with physical aggression. do people have the right not to be photographed? Or do we demand the freedom to take and publish pictures of everything and anybody all the time? Japan and Korea have insisted that all mobiles give a warning bleep when their cameras go off.K. it was the legal pleading that it was "art" that got the photographer off the hook. In this week's third example.a third viewpoint . And which of us hasn't speculated.. There is nothing at all original about this thought. French law prevents publication of portraits taken in a public space without their subjects' permission. One question arising from Quick's case is. is the unstoppable rise of the citizenphotographer. the art of street photography . to see more is to know more. In the old days all that would have happened was a D-Notice (official request in the U. Eddie Adams took one of the most famous pictures from the Vietnam war. to news editors not to publish or broadcast items on specified subjects for reasons of national security) and the confiscation of several rolls of film. New York mayor Michael Bloomberg declared that he wanted people to use their mobiles to record crimes in progress and to send the images directly to the police. and perhaps to understand." when Erno Nussenzweig. the second by some reporters who went to the trouble and expense of actually training some carers (rather more than the care firms themselves managed to do) before equipping them with tiny cameras and sending them off to find jobs. better still.

What the photograph didn't say was. even without manipulation. Samvita Padukone. "His plane gets in at 9:30. Google and other big companies say the Chinese." the group's manager responds. Russian and other immigrant technologists have transformed the industry.unarmed man in the head. Mavinkurve. . according to Vivek Wadhwa. It won a Pulitzer. also born in India. Adams later befriended the general and apologised for the damage his picture had caused him. one of the key engineers on this project. a Vietcong partisan who that morning had killed several policemen and their families. Mavinkurve. an immigration scholar working at Duke and Harvard. is not. "The people of America get it. restaurants and landmarks. 2009 The Hindu Where recruiting clashes with immigration limits Matt Richtel Where's Sanjay? 1. but his wife. two or three American soldiers?'" We've still to discover why a British policeman knocked Tomlinson to the ground and why he died a few minutes later. does not.guiding travellers to businesses. "People believe them." he added. "Every American I've talked to says: 'Dude.© Guardian Newspapers Limited. it's ridiculous that we're not doing everything we can to keep you in the country. I think current lawmakers are going to realise how dumb they're being.." Immigrants like Mavinkurve are the lifeblood of Google and Silicon Valley. Page : 009 The question comes from one of dozens of engineers around a crowded conference table at Google. They have gathered to discuss how to build easy-to-use maps that could turn hundreds of millions of mobile phones into digital Sherpas . it will be words and not pictures that tell us. unsuccessfully sought anonymity as pizza restaurateur in Virginia and died in 1998. . If and when we do. but photographs do lie. where half the engineers were born overseas. 'What would you do if you were the general at that time and place on that hot day. It seems incomprehensibly barbaric. a 28-year-old Indian immigrant who helped lay the foundation for Facebook while a student at Harvard. "They are only half-truths . So he moved to Canada. But Sanjay G. "And in a matter of time. a lone engineer among marketers.. Google is based in Silicon Valley. Just over half the companies founded in Silicon Valley from the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s had founders born abroad. Indian. instead works out of a Google sales office in Toronto." Adams wrote in Time magazine. We need people like you!'" he said. He has a visa to work in the United States. creating wealth and jobs. General Nguyen Ngoc Loan was reviled ever after. The identity of the man he shot is less certain. and you caught the so-called bad guy after he blew away one. up from 10 per cent in 1970. but he is widely believed to be Nguyen Van Lem. 13-Apr-2009.

an engineer who operates a nonprofit advocacy group for American-born technologists. the Hungarian-born cofounder of Intel.and as many of them as want to ." said Craig R. It is a debate well known to Google. the chairman of Intel. they're graduating today . Sergey Brin." The debate has only sharpened as the country's economic downturn has deepened." said Kim Berry. . "We are watching the decline and fall of the United States as an economic power . Jerry Yang. Grove." The idea is opposed by staunch foes of liberalised immigration and by advocates for Americanborn engineers.can stay in the United States. but as we speak. 'I'm going to make it such that those smart kids .© 2009 The New York Times News Service . the Chinese-born co-founder of Yahoo. but he says a stopgap measure would be to let companies hire more foreign engineers.' They're here today. and Google's Russian-born co-founder. Barrett. Vinod Khosla of India and Andreas von Bechtolsheim of Germany. he exemplifies how immigration policies can chase away a potential entrepreneur who aspires to create wealth and jobs in the U. While it could be said that Mavinkurve's case is one of a self-entitled immigrant refusing to live in the United States because his wife would not be able to work. Advocates for American-born workers are criticising companies that lay off employees even as they retain engineers living here on visas.The foreign-born elite dating back even further includes Andrew S. but not everyone in the world can live here. the co-founders of Sun Microsystems.S.and they're going home today. His case highlights the technology industry's argument that the United States will struggle to compete if it cannot more easily hire foreign-born engineers. and it is a deeply personal one to Mavinkurve. you can say. But technology executives say that byzantine and increasingly restrictive visa and immigration rules have imperilled their ability to hire more of the world's best engineers.not hypothetically. But the technology industry counters that innovations from highly skilled workers are central to American long-term growth. Barrett blames a slouching education system that cannot be easily fixed. "There are probably two billion people in the world who would like to live in California and work. "There are plenty of Americans to do these jobs. "With a snap of the fingers.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful